The other day I received a letter from one of my students, she was having a horrible time trying to do one of the exercises from my book "Watercolor Essentials". The problem was when she applied water and color to the paper it soaked right in.
I first asked her what brand of paper she was using, (that can make a HUGE difference). Student brands most often will not react the same as the professional grade papers (my personal preference has been 300 lb CP Arches paper and for exercises 140 lb). Student grade papers have a tendency to curl badly and blending color does not react the same way due to the surface.
I asked: how old her was the paper ?
Her reply: about 10 years old.
The problem is: depending on how long and where the paper is stored, overtime the elements can degrade the sizing on the surface (yes even though it is archival). Most likely you won't notice anything wrong until you apply water and color, then the big reveal happens. You start to see blotches and s…